Moving first thing in the morning was a necessity when I was recovering from a back injury. Over time it became part of my routine. Nowadays I think, "Why on earth wasn't I doing this back when I started training?"
No one seems to place much importance on morning movement, but the benefits are insane:
- You feel and move better for the rest of the day.
- You get to know your body, discovering tightness and soreness before you get to the gym.
- You can actively and regularly work on your limitations.
- You recover faster from workouts.
- You keep on top of your posture.
- Your muscles work better. That's handy.
- Your gym warm-ups don't need to be as long.
- You counteract the effects of training heavy all the time.
- Your joints stop hating you.
Does a morning routine need to involve putting on spandex and getting on a yoga mat for an hour of crazy backbends and splits? No.
I'm talking about the most unimpressive, uncool stuff. Stuff you could pretty much do with your eyes still closed while half asleep... yet still incredibly effective.
Movement options are endless, but the principles for making a good daily morning routine are:
- Relax and move your neck
- Open your upper back
- Rotate your shoulders
- Stretch your sides
- Go through deep hip flexion and extension
- Rotate your hips
- Work on your balance
We go through a few examples in the video, but you can swap in any of your own exercises that you feel benefit you.
Being consistent is more important than using a fancy variety of drills. Do it every day. You'll start to get a feeling for what your body needs and start to notice if something feels different from your left to right side. Then you can start adding extra reps or extra time to the side that's falling behind, avoiding imbalances and injuries before they even happen!
How long you spend doing this each morning is up to you. Five minutes, ten minutes, whatever. Just don't make it a big ordeal that you can't be bothered doing. It has to be achievable and easy.
Turn it into a habit over a few weeks. Moving better will just be a normal part of your day.